- God's word
- Human opinion about God's word
To a protestant it is obvious Jesus is referring to the 66 book canon even though none of the New Testament was written yet. But He does not say that. How could He? What does He say?
Again Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen to me, everyone, and understand this. Nothing outside a man can make him ‘unclean’ by going into him. Rather, it is what comes out of a man that makes him ‘unclean.’” Mk 7:14-15For somebody who wants to promote Sola Scriptura this is a strange way to do it. He says with authority something that seems to contradict the scriptures. He is claiming His own words to be in category #1.
Back the Rev Greiner:
In the book of Acts, chapter two, we see the church born, and apostles teaching from house to house. What did they teach? We don’t have to wonder, the “gospel” in its fulness, is encoded in the words of Scripture, so that we can know.So what is the authority is Acts 2? Not a set of writings but a set of people, the apostles. So that is the opposite of Sola Scriptura. Verse 42 says, "They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer." It says nothing at all about scripture. So this proves what? That the gospel in its fulness is encoded in the words of Scripture? How does he get there?
Does anyone really think the concept of “pope” in any language was part of what they taught? Did they teach the sinlessness of Mary and her assumption? Did they teach the practice of praying the rosary? Did they teach that baby baptism removes the stain of original sin? Did they teach that elders were priests who had the authority to change bread into body and wine into blood? Did they teach that elders were priests who could not marry? Did they teach that attendance at Mass was mandatory? Did they teach that there would be a pantheon of saints, canonized by a pope, who could intercede in prayer from heaven? Did they say, “Hey, when I get to heaven, just ask me, and I’ll ask Jesus for you?” Of course not, they taught none of these things.So how does he know what the apostles taught or didn't teach? Are there maybe some traditions of men involved? This is pure projection. I am this way so the apostles must have been this way. Actually there is good evidence that many of these doctrines were there in an less developed form. I wonder if he thinks they taught the sinner's prayers and all the other evangelical distinctives?
These are the teachings of the popes. The popes who claimed for themselves infallibility when they speak ex cathedra. Did they teach that popes were single substitutes for Christ (Vicar) on earth? Did they teach a succession of popes? The Bible and the historical record show that the answer to all these questions is no. The Bible explains the gospel. The book of Romans, for example, exhaustively explains the Gospel and has none of these Papal teachings in them. We know the Gospel. We are responsible to discern the Word and avoid changing it or submitting it to the whims of men, even if they are popes.Actually the bible and history do support the Catholic position. That is the trouble. He is just stating one man's opinion. He is firmly in category #2. Catholics actually keep these categories pretty clear. It is evangelicals that mush them together. Is a sermon the word of God or human opinion? Incidentally, the popes don't claim infallibility for themselves. God gives it to them.
As for Romans? Rom 1:8 says, "I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world." That is what the papacy is about. That the faith of the Church of Rome be the central point of reference for the whole world. Why would the letter to the Romans be so important and not the Church of Rome and the Bishop of Rome? Do we not believe in the word made flesh?
I believe the Bible, because it comes from the Apostles. Only they are authoritative in bringing words from God.This much we agree on. But did anything else come from the apostles? History and scripture say Yes. Sacred tradition comes from the apostles. Jesus condemned "traditions of men." Why did He add the qualifier "of men?" Because there are sacred traditions that we can trust. Good thing too because trying to live the faith apart from tradition is humanly impossible.
[my dear Catholic apologists who have been commenting. Feel free to continue. But forgive me if I put no stock in your arguments that say, “If you just learned Catholic doctrine correctly” or “If Saint Ignatius says so.” All I hear is you quoting your Mishnah. I have no desire to parse your popes. I don’t trust them like you do. I know you disagree strongly. So do I. Nothing personal. In fact, I believe that salvation by faith alone happens in the Catholic church also. I have brothers and sister there. For decades I have not discussed much about the reasons I am not a Catholic. There is no gentle way I know of to disagree strongly --some are better at it than I am, to be sure. But I am trying. Peace.]This is unfortunate. He does not really interact with any Catholic objections. I think a key reason is that he has no good answer. His arguments only work as a monologue. That is they don't stand up to scrutiny. As a pastor that works fine. Church members have no ability or interest in rebutting what you say. They take your category #2 sermons and put them into category #1. But as a lover of truth who does not claim infallibility you should go out of your way to expose yourself to intelligent questioners from other traditions.